It's been 126 days and I still haven't listened to the radio. I listen to music all the time...Hand-picked, carefully chosen music by those I trust or myself. Just not the radio. With the radio, you don't know what's coming. You don't know what the next song will be. You don't know what it will trigger, how emotional it will be, if it will be the right kind of emotion, if it will bring up a memory...
I haven't read a book in 126 days either. The only ones that feel safe are ones I have already read, because I know what's coming. I let friends tell me what would be ideal for me to read. They give me suggestions based off of what they've finished reading, knowing my circumstances and worries. But I haven't yet felt ready to read something new.
I also don't watch TV shows that could have some element that might hurt me in some way. There are some that are always safe - reality shows or sitcoms, for example. But then there are shows I follow, like cop shows or other dramas, that might deal with emotional situations. You just never know when the storyline will take a turn into territory that will hit too close to home. Death, loss of a spouse, suicide, gunshot to the head, etc. I'm not ready for that. My friends censor my shows for me. I watch the ones like Project Runway or Ellen that are perpetually safe, but friends who watch the same shows as I do give me a heads up before I push play on my DVR. Sometimes they say, "Don't watch this one at all." Sometimes they say, "Halfway through this week's episode, something happens that is hard, but it turns out okay." And then I know. And it feels safer. Other times, they let me know that something regarding a certain topic will occur and I can make the decision for myself. But the key is that I am not blindsided. Not caught off guard.
The same goes for movies. I haven't watched any new movies in 126 days that weren't animated Disney ones. I have watched some old movies, ones I've seen before... but the point of new movies is that you don't know what is going to happen. And that just doesn't feel safe right now.
It's funny how such things can come into play so strongly when the grieving process is running its course. It's the unknown, the fear of being caught unaware, that scares me most. If I knew I was watching a show where someone would die by suicide, I would actually feel more comfortable than if I just started watching it and suddenly the plot line took that turn.
It's the unpredictability that feels unmanageable. I need control over my listening, my reading, my watching... at least right now. I am not sure when that will change. But until it does, I appreciate all the people in my life who have my back, combing carefully through all the entertainment out there in order to protect me.